Motovun is a charming little hilltop town in the inland of Istria, Croatia´s biggest peninsula. Just one look on the small walled town rising above the valley, forest and river will magically take you to the journey into the fairy tale.
Sightseeing in Motovun
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Motovun was a part of the Venetian empire, and reminders of that time can be seen everywhere you look. Coats of arms grace the buildings. Venice´s symbol, stone lions from the 14th century are guarding over the town gates. Late-Renaissance church of St. Stephan was designed by architect Andrea Palladio and painting of the Last Supper that is behind the church´s altar is work of unknown 17th century Venetian.
In the town square, you can find water cisterns with pipes that date from the 14th and 15th century.
Take a walk in the town walls of Motovun that dates back to the 11th and 12th century and enjoy in the stunning view on the vineyards and forests.
Taste of the Motovun
If you are a true gourmet, then Motovun is a place for you. Motovun forests are hiding a real treasure: black and white truffles. The Istrian white truffle (Tuber magnatum Pico) belongs to the most precious and highest quality truffles in the world. The biggest truffle in the world was found in this forests in 1999., and the founder Giancarlo Zigante is still holding the record in the Guinness book of records.
Motovun cuisine is based on delicious traditional Istrian recipes with, of course, white truffles as the main character. Vineyards that can be seen from the town walls produce Motovun´○s fine Malvasija and Teran wines that go perfectly with truffles.
Nature around Motovun
Nature around Motovun is green. A vast Motovun forest is renowned for its oaks. It is a rare phenomenon of a floodplain forest in Croatian karst – the soil is wet. The Mirna River is flowing through the woods, It is heavily regulated, but still brings the water to the forest through the soil. Oaks, interesting plants harbor many plant animals, but the most famous organism is a truffle. This delicacy is growing in the ground, and special help are needed to find it. Dogs, with their excellent sense of smell, are well suited for this task.
Motovun Film Festival
Motovun Film Festival is Motovun´s most famous event. Since it was established in 1999. It is entirely dedicated to films made in small cinematographies and by independent producers. This festival can be best described as a film marathon that lasts for a couple of days in late July every year, with film projections uninterrupted from 10 in the morning until 4 after midnight. Daily projections are in the cinema while the evening ones take place in the open air.
The Festival of Terran Wine and truffles
This one-day event that takes place last Saturday in September. It is an exhibition and public tasting of Teran wine, and an exhibition of truffles where the biggest is awarded with the “Veli Jože” title.
The luckiest visitor of the Festival can win the prize contest and take home the truffle which was awarded the “Veli Jože” title and a collection of gold-medal winning Teran wines.
Motovun is located only 25km from the Poreč, on the way to the Buzet.
This charming old town is an excellent choice for a day trip if you want to experience more than just a coast of Istria and treat your palate with delicious food and fine wines.
The city center is closed for vehicles, except for people living there, and as a tourist, you must park your car in a big parking lot at the old cemetery. This is not a problem, as you will need less than 10 minutes of walking uphill to the main town square. At the same time, you will have the chance to enjoy the fantastic view, sightseeing, shopping in souvenir shops, or in tasting and buying wine and truffles.
Where to stay
Hotel Kaštel is located in the main square of the old town. In this 3 stars hotel, you can be situated in one of 33 rooms, and enjoy the indoor swimming pool and wellness.
Wine & Heritage Hotel Roxanich is located outside the old town. In this 5 stars hotel, you can truly experience luxury and hedonism.
If hotels are not your first choice, you can find apartments and villas for rent in the town, and also a campsite.
Where to eat
Restaurant Konoba Mondo
You can find this small restaurant just outside the main town gate. Their menu is based on the local ingredients, of course, mostly truffles.
This restaurant belongs to the hotel of the same name. It has a charming terrace under the big trees in the old town where you can enjoy tasty food.